Jeff Kiel, who has been vice president of advertising at the Mercury News since 2002, was promoted today to publisher, replacing George Riggs, who will continue as president of the MediaNews Group’s California Newspapers Partnership, the Merc announced.

    (In this Feb. 2 photo, Riggs is standing at left and Kiel, with the blue tie, is standing in the middle. The photo was taken at the Santa Cruz Sentinel when the partnership announced it was buying that daily paper. Below is a photo of Kiel posted by the Merc.)

Before arriving at the Merc, Kiel was chief financial officer of the Miami Herald, then owned by Knight Ridder. Prior to that, he was a CPA. Kiel, 48, lives in Los Gatos.

Riggs, who had been publisher of the Contra Costa Times since 1993, was named publisher of the Merc in December 2004. A year ago, he was appointed president of the newspaper partnership but continued as head of the Merc. Today’s announcement said Riggs, 61, will step down from the Merc post to concentrate on his duties as partnership president.

The partnership includes the Merc, Coco Times, Oakland Tribune, San Mateo County Times, Palo Alto Daily News and other dailies in northern and southern California. MediaNews, headed by Dean Singleton, owns 54.2 percent of the partnership. Gannett Co. owns 19.5 percent and Stephens Newspapers of Little Rock, Ark. owns 26.3 percent.

SF Press Club News


  1. Come on! Of course sales are down at the MN, but that is a trend across the country. That shot at Jeff is totally unfair!

  2. usually a press release announcing a promotion lists the accomplishments of the person being promoted … so he’s the MN’s sales mgr, right? … how much have sales increased since he took over? interesting how the announcement is silent about that.

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